No one knows more about retail than STORES Magazine Editor Susan Reda, and she believes the industry has a lot be excited about. “I think 2017 was a really interesting year for retail,” she says. “I would call it one of the most transformative periods of retail that I have seen in decades.” 2018 is shaping up to be another dynamic year, as she predicts that technology will play an increasingly important role for both physical and digital retailers.
This week on Retail Gets Real, Reda chats with the co-hosts about what she sees in her crystal ball for the retail industry in 2018.
There’s no doubt the retail industry is undergoing a transformation. Digital retailers are merging with physical stores, as seen in one of 2017’s biggest stories — Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods Market. Reda sees this trend continuing into 2018, along with the integration of new technologies like AI, VR and mixed reality.
Companies are embracing new ways of doing business and reengineering how they connect with customers, but retailers should be mindful of the role technology can play in their stores to ensure it’s not a forced experience. As Reda says, it’s all about meeting the customers where they are.